The apostle Paul wrote by inspiration,
“And that you study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” (I Thess. 4:11)
Let’s explore the phrase “study to be quiet.” Is Paul instructing us to simply talk less? While it is true that, “when words are many, transgression is not lacking…”(Pro. 10:19), I do not think that is the main point of the instruction. The phrase “study to be quiet” can be translated as “aspire or make it your goal to live quietly”.
How does one learn to live quietly? To study something is to set the mind or thoughts upon a subject. The same can be said when we aspire to something or make something our goal. Whatever we study or make our goal, we must dwell upon and fix our mind upon. We must work diligently at the goal we have set.
Quiet means to be still; to refrain; or to be in a state of rest. The word also means to be free from alarm or disturbances, peaceable, not turbulent, contented, calm and not agitated, smooth and unruffled.
Putting these words together we learn that to study to be quiet is to work diligently to set our mind to be calm, to be free from disturbance or alarm. It is to find a place of tranquility and quiet rest.
But how? We live in a time of uncertainty and unrest. People fear for the future of our country. It is easy to become disturbed at things that are happening in our world — in our own corner of the world as well as the world at large.
For the person committed to Christ and His sure and precious promises, the answer is quite simple. I must remember to focus upon Christ. I must constantly be aware that He is on the throne. Christ is King of kings. He is over all. We are subjects of the everlasting kingdom. To set my mind on the joy of knowing Him, and to set my mind upon His everlasting kingdom will do away with the agitation and concern I feel when I look at the world around me.
Calm can reign in my innermost being when I set my thoughts upon Christ Jesus. Study to be quiet — to live quietly — means that I make Him the center of my life, that I am aware of His abiding presence at all times. Christ Jesus, the King of kings, brings peace and joy to my troubled soul because I understand that belonging to Him places me in a secure place no matter what is taking place around me.
May my daily prayer become: “Lord, help me to grow this place of quiet rest in my heart where you reign Supreme so that I may live quietly before others.”